Simone Kennedy Wins Gold at Track Nationals
19 Dec 2013
19 December 2013
Para-cycling nationals open to Melbourne scorcher
Australia’s Para-cyclists launched the Subaru 2014 Para-cycling Track National Championships in sweltering conditions at Melbourne’s DISC Velodrome on Thursday, with temperatures hovering around the 40-degree mark for the individual and tandem time trial finals.
Seven-time Paralympian Kieran Modra (SA) and new pilot Jason Niblett blistered the four laps in a time of 1min 03.134secs, just outside Modra’s Australian record of 1min 3.120secs, to win the men’s Tandem 1km time trial.
“We are very happy with our time as the last time we rode we got a 1:06, so it was a big improvement our there for us today,” said Modra, who has been working with former Australian sprinter Niblett for six months.
And with Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to feature Tandem Para-cycling events (sprint & time trial) for the first time in history, Modra and the tandem field were chasing qualifying times in addition to national titles.
“I have no doubt we will get it (qualifying time), but we just have to work harder,” added Modra who finished outside the time. “But regardless of the qualifying times, we still have the worlds and we will just keep using the stepping stones along the way.”
Matt Formston (NSW) and pilot Michael Curran (1:05.491) claimed the silver medal and Paul Kennedy (ACT) and pilot Thomas Clarke (1:05.959) took the bronze.
2012 Paralympic champion and two-time world champion in the tandem time trial Felicity Johnson (SA) claimed her fourth consecutive national crown. After notching a stellar career with Steph Morton, Johnson wasted no time adding to her glittering resume, taking gold with new partner Holly Takos in a time of 1min 11.932secs.
“I’m really happy with the time, it is the first proper time that Holly and I have posted and it is really excited having the chance to ride with a new partner and have that relationship blossom and grow,” said Johnson. “I am really going to embrace the opportunity to work towards being in the 2014 Commonwealth Games team.”
Canberra’s Brandie O'Connor and pilot Cassandra Kell (1:12.145) finished just two-tenths of a second off the pace, while South Australia’s Rachel Henderson and Carla Franson (1:14.749) won bronze.
Reigning world champion Simone Kennedy (NSW) collected her third straight gold in the C3 category with her Australian record breaking time of 43.142secs just two-tenths of a second outside the world record.
2012 Paralympic pursuit gold medallist Susan Powell (ACT) clocked 41.451secs to win her fifth consecutive women’s C4 gold medal. New South Wales’ Alexandra Green (43.069) took the silver medal and Victoria’s Hannah MacDougall (46.184) the bronze
In the C2 men’s final, Andrew Falconer (NSW) posted a blistering time of 1min 23.087secs to easily defend his title by a whopping margin of over fifteen seconds to South Australia’s Darcy Thompson (1:38.429) and Victoria’s Gabriel Bouris (1:45.283).
Para C3 Men’s final, 2012 Paralympic champion David Nicholas (QLD) also defended his crown with his time of 1min 13.739secs to good for South Australia’s Zachary Ivanoff (1:29.991).
In the C4 men’s Time Trial Final Queensland’s Ben Ellen (1:12.916) won gold and South Australia’s Shaw (1:13.426) took the silver.
The Omnium and Para-cycling Championships will be held at Melbourne’s DISC Velodrome on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 December, with the Madison Championships to feature as part of the Melbourne Cup on Wheels Carnival onSaturday 21 December.